Julie’s Pizzeria

The Day After the Day of Love

I’m disgusted. I could write about guns. Or mental health care. Or schools. I have written my misogynist representative. I’ve attended forums, school board meetings, bitched on Twitter. I hope this school shooting is the last one. There is no animal you can hunt with an AK47 and if you want to whine about how you think I want to take away your rights, save it. If you don’t believe children should be safe in schools, you don’t deserve to hold anything in your hands to protect you from the truth. As Kathy Fish so eloquently wrote in Jellyfish Review, it’s gotten to the point where children can be classified as targets. That’s wrong; end of discussion. We need sensible gun restrictions and the laws we already have enforced.

2.13.2018

In other news, Husband brought home a lovely bouquet on the 13th so I’d have an extra day to enjoy these beautiful blooms. (Translation: He was in Hamburg that day to run an unrelated errand and also wanted to avoid the last minute rush of other husbands on Valentine’s Day at the Hess Brothers Florist shop.)

I found out I was on the long list for the London Independent Story Prize and couldn’t say anything for a day. On the 8th, I went to JD’s Brew Pub to hear J.T. and the Law play, and to keep my mind off possibly losing. They have gotten better and it was great to hear J.T.’s brother sing a song called “Galileo” and Anna sang Maddie Larkin’s songs beautifully.

Last week’s meeting of the Hamburg Writers’ Group consisted of me, Patrick, and Michael. The conversation about craft and submitting was both interesting and inspiring. I read the piece that was long listed and Michael said he thought I’d win. I still had doubts. On Saturday, I went to the library for my shift. It was hard to concentrate on reading submissions because I kept refreshing the LISP page to find out who won. With Lent coming up, I wanted to go out to have a glass of wine with a meal before I couldn’t. Husband let me use his phone to check. Just as we were finishing our meal at Julie’s, the winners were announced. As anyone who was in the restaurant that afternoon can tell you, I won.

 

LISP Badge

So, today is the last day to submit to the American Short(er) Fiction contest and I’m preparing my entries. I’ve sent out some queries to agents and next week, I send pages to my darling, awesome novel critique group after the incredible Nina Fosati has gone over the book again. In this revision, she’s highlighted the parts she particularly likes. I’m now in love with the color turquoise and I’m seeing a lot of it, which I really need because “new book” is pure dreck at the moment.

Writing…not for the thin skinned or the impatient.

Thanks for stopping by and for the read. As always, these are merely my creekside reflections so I expect your experiences to vary.

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Rigid, yet willing to bend

Hi. I’m tightly bound and anal retentive. How do you do? I’ve kept this blog up and running for a while now. I’ve thought about changing the frequency because sometimes awfully wonderful things happen in my life that I want to write about just as much as the sad things that tend to get the ink.

Ready? Here it is: SHEMEKIA COPELAND ROCKED. Not only was she the most talented vocalist surrounded by incredible musicians, she was kind, too. OMG. Husband and I went to see her at the Armor Inn Tap Room for our twelfth anniversary (seriously–has it been that long? I thought I just met this man.) We were joined by Paul, Kim, Charlie and Rick.

I wrote a thank you note and handed it to Shemekia before her set. I thought she’d toss it. She didn’t. She gave good tidings to me and Husband from the stage. It was awesome. And she was so generous to her fans with  the pictures she posed for and the autographs she signed…I could go on (hence the frequency debate.)

I digress… During that excursion, the back of my legs hurt because the day before I held a war on the slugs in my garden. I killed at least two hundred. Retaliation, since I had 16 pepper plants and by the time of the slug war’s end, I was down to 5.

The slug war, I could have blogged about that once I scrubbed the yellow goo off my fingers.

Tuesday was the last meeting of the the Ugly Babies Writer’s Group until September. It’s the third year I’ve conducted it and I am wavering on whether it should continue or not. I probably feel this ambivalence every year. My group is great and the owners, waitresses, prep crew, bakers and the line cooks at Julie’s Pizzeria are so wonderful. I’d miss sitting in the “fish bowl” of the private room once a month. I just wish there was more writing to discuss.

Marko is looking to take a break from doing the Celebration Thread in the short story studio at Zoetrope. I told him I’d consider doing it. My son, his wife and my grandson are coming to visit. They are on the road now. I’m not making any plans until after they leave. I told Marko if I do it, I couldn’t start until 1 July and that worked out perfectly for him. I’m hoping someone else volunteers. It’s rough to be a cheerleader when you only have rejections to report, BUT when I was leading the thread before, I put out a lot more submissions, so there is that to consider.

*Sigh*

Well, off to do the last minute things before they arrive. Until next time!

(*These are just my reflections. Your experience may vary.)

If I Have Writing To Do, I’ll Be Out In The Garden.

I took a suggestion from someone, somewhere on the internet and started a first draft in a font I never use. I don’t know if I just had a lot to say on the subject or that the different type freed my mind and fingers, but in no time at all, I had a serviceable first paragraph, a nice ending sentence and about a thousand words total. If I could remember who said or suggested it, I’d tell you, but I can’t.

(MANY thanks to Alex Pruteanu! It was Matt Bell who suggested the change of the fonts. And I’m now up to 1700 words on this essay and really like it.)

 

Bong is Bard accepted a piece and it will go live on 22 May and on the 28th–Memorial Day–I have a piece up at Every Day Fiction and sometime eventually, Jumping Blue Gods will be publishing a poem. I’m reminding you–and myself–that I do have pieces accepted. I’ve run into a nasty, long list of rejections recently and I don’t care for it.

Luckily, the weather has been wonderful, so I’ve been outside and working on the yard. Yesterday was especially nice and I weeded the old bed that will be pulled up, tilled, and turned back into a yard. If you can’t beat the flooding ditch, you move the garden farther away from it.

I spent hours on the phone with my sister last night… Oh, the questions we have for our mom. Not that we’ll get any answers since she’s dead and all, but mein gott! The things one hears and learns after a death.

So, I’m off to water the pine tree that Husband moved from where it was growing to the yard. It’s the cutest little thing! I have a list of writing assignments that I want to ignore, I mean finish, so off I go. Have a pleasant Memorial Day weekend and remember to read my story. You’ll have the day off to enjoy it so no excuses! See you in June!

And remember, if you’re ever in Springville, New York, eat at Julie’s Pizzeria because they are so generous with allowing us to meet there in the private room on the third Tuesday of the month.

*These are just my reflections. Your experience may vary.

Shilling

I’ve discovered a mighty fine remedy for a funk: Have someone say something untrue and/or slightly insulting about you. It’s very hard to remain blasé when you’re p*ssed off. And so, I’m back. Did you miss me?

Ping-pong goes the writing. Ugh! Spring is great, but trying to concentrate is a joke. For whatever reason, I’ve decided I want to try my hand at a poetry chapbook. I think I’m working on a winner. It’s called “Let the Grownups Talk.” I’m submitting it to the Burnside Review Competition–as soon as I finish tweaking the two bookend poems, or the deadline arrives. *Sigh*

Many thanks to Jennifer Bridges for accepting “After,” (a poem in the collection) for the wonderful Jumping Blues Gods. It isn’t posted yet, but stay tuned. And to Dawn Corrigan, because years ago she helped me craft “The Scholar’s Initiation” into a great piece.That’s another poem I’m including in the collection. If you’d like, you can check out one of Dawn’s stories that I really like here: “The Treehugger

As usual, this month’s writer’s group was interesting. Shirley and I had a chance to talk about the craft part of writing. Oh, and by the way, I must mention these things: InkJoy is a proper description. I ended up buying a pack of these PaperMate InkJoy pens and I’m in love with them. I’m bringing that up because of a discussion about dialogue. When I’m writing, for the first go around, I write dialogue better in ink than trying to type it out because I can write faster than I can type. These pens are so smooth! I can’t wait to write my next first draft.

Julie’s Pizzeria on Main Street Springville, New York is the most Extreme Supreme Coolest Place EVER! They have been so gracious and kind and I cannot thank them enough for allowing the Ugly Babies Writing group to meet there, in the private room, on the third Tuesday of the month for going on three years now. Many, many thanks! If you’d like to join the group, shoot me a line for what we expect from our members. Otherwise, just go there, eat the fabulous food and know you are supporting a business that supports writers.

Besides the ping-ponging in my writing, I’ve been doing some spring cleaning in anticipation of a family gathering. I’m so excited about this weekend! Let the games begin. I’m jonesing for some bridge. May the odds–and the cards–always be in my favor.

Until next time!

*These are just my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.